Click here to view the Collection Development Policy as a pdf document.
LIBRARY MISSION STATEMENT:
The mission of the East Longmeadow Public Library is to provide free and equal access to information, resources, and technology. Its purpose is to help educate and enrich our community in response to the intellectual, educational, and cultural needs and input of its patrons. The library offers an extensive variety of materials for the purpose of study or
enjoyment and supports literacy and life-long learning for its town residents.
The Board of Library Trustees, the Library Director, and Library Staff recognize the responsibility of the East Longmeadow Public Library to provide materials that support diverse points of view on different topics. The Collection Development Policy is intended to provide guidance, within budgetary and space limitations, for the evaluation, selection and withdrawal of materials which anticipate and meet the needs of our patrons. It also serves to acquaint the general public with the principles of selection. The American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, the Freedom to Read Statement, the Freedom to View Statement, and The First Amendment and Censorship have been endorsed by the East Longmeadow Board of Library Trustees and are integral parts of this policy.
(see Appendix A)
RESPONSIBILITY FOR SELECTION:
The ultimate responsibility for selection of materials, as with all library activities, rests with the Library Director, who operates within the framework of policies determined by the East Longmeadow Board of Library Trustees. The responsibility of selection may be shared by other members of the professional staff within the areas of service to children, adolescents, and adults. In support of the selections, the Board of Library Trustees also recognizes Massachusetts General Law Chapter 78, Section 33.
(see Appendix B)
MATERIALS SELECTION PROCESS:
A variety of tools are used to aid in the awareness and selection of materials, including such sources as professional review journals, publishers’ catalogs, purchase plan alerts, and patron and staff recommendations.
Involved in the process of collection development are the experience and knowledge of those staff members so designated by the Library Director. In making selection decisions, the staff members use their familiarity with the community, other library resources, the existing collection and the Library’s materials budget. Care is made to make acquisition decisions as objectively as possible.
Evaluation of a work includes the entire work, not just individual parts. A work’s overall contribution to the collection is a critical determinant for acceptance or rejection. No single criterion can be applied to all materials, and various criteria carry different weights in different circumstances.
Selection cannot be restricted to the possibility that certain materials might be considered objectionable by some users on moral, religious, political, or other grounds. Well-intended individuals or groups may occasionally question the inclusion of an item in the collection. Neither an individual, nor a group, nor Library Staff have a right to decide what others may read.
MATERIALS SELECTION CRITERIA:
- Author’s significance or reputation
- Availability of similar materials in other area libraries
- Contemporary significance or permanent value
- Creative, literary or technical quality
- Currency of information
- Evaluations in professionally recognized critical review sources
- Format and ease of use
- Popular interest
- Scarcity of information in subject area
- Special local interest or community relevance
- Scope and accuracy of subject matter
- Relevance to the existing collection
An item need not meet all of these criteria to be selected. Local authors, self-published materials, and patron requests will be evaluated based on the above selection criteria as well as the availability of materials in the libraries of the Central and Western Massachusetts Resource Sharing (CW MARS) consortium.
Materials published or released in new formats will be considered for the collection when there is evidence that a significant portion of the local population has the required equipment to make use of the format. Availability of items will also be factors in determining when a new format will be acquired.
The Library regularly displays collection materials to draw patron’s attention to the variety of topics covered and to the assortment of formats offered by the Library’s collections. It is hoped that displays help patrons discover materials that are of interest to them. Topics of displays generally reflect upcoming Library programs, national and local awareness campaigns, staff recommendations, popular authors, bestsellers, and/or current events.
The displays are regularly rotated and selected based on the same principles set forth elsewhere in this policy.
The Library has an established presence on the World Wide Web located at eastlongmeadowlibrary.org. This website serves as a gateway to the Library’s online presence which includes a growing number of services including, but not limited to, online databases and digital books. The online collection is selected and withdrawn based on the same principles set forth elsewhere in this policy.
The Library may accept gifts of books and other materials but reserves the right to evaluate, accept and/or reject, and dispose of them based on the same principles set forth elsewhere in this policy. No conditions may be imposed by the donor relating to gifts, books and related materials made to the Library.
In accepting any gift, due consideration must be given to the resources necessary to receive, maintain and make such gifts available to the public. Generally, the Library does not accept materials that are in poor physical condition. The Library reserves the right to refuse donations if the Library Director and/or Library Staff determines they are not of use to the Library.
Gifts will be withdrawn in the same manner as purchased materials. The Library does not accept responsibility for notifying donors of withdrawal or replacement of gift items.
All gifts are tax deductible. The Library does not place a financial value on materials received. With rare exceptions, we do not return items that are given to us. No gifts are accepted unless given to the Library without restriction. All gifts may be utilized, sold or disposed of in the best interest of the Library.
(see Appendix C)
Due to limited budget and space, the East Longmeadow Public Library is not able to provide all materials that are requested. Therefore, interlibrary loan is used to obtain from other member libraries those materials that are not a part of our collection. The East Longmeadow Public Library is a member of the CW MARS consortium, an automated resource sharing network of public, academic, school, and special libraries covering a wide geographic area in the Central and Western area of the Commonwealth. For patrons with needs beyond the local library and the CW MARS system, interlibrary loan allows access to materials in libraries throughout the Commonwealth and the rest of the United States through cooperative interlibrary loan agreements. In return for utilizing interlibrary loan to satisfy the needs of our patrons, the Library agrees to lend its materials to the other member libraries through the same interlibrary loan network. The Library does not have control over the content of certain electronic collections, including those administered by CW MARS or the state, or over materials that may be available through interlibrary loan from other libraries.
(see Appendix D)
LIBRARY OF THINGS:
The Library of Things is a collection of non-traditional items. The Library of Things collection is selected and withdrawn based on the same principles set forth elsewhere in this policy.
(see Appendix E)
The Library makes an effort to collect and maintain materials having to do with the history of East Longmeadow. The Local History Room is the area of the Library where most of the Local History collection is shelved. The Local History collection is selected and withdrawn based on the same principles set forth elsewhere in this policy.
Library collections, not being static, require an active review process. An ongoing re-evaluation of materials is necessary in order to maintain a current, accurate and inviting collection.
Candidates for withdrawal include, but are not limited to:
- Duplicate copies
- Items no longer of interest or in demand
- Misleading and/or factually inaccurate
- Outdated or superseded materials
- Relevance to the observed and anticipated community needs
- Worn or damaged items
Materials may be discarded based on the availability of physical space in the Library, as well as the discretion of the Library Staff responsible for selection. Replacements and updated editions are purchased when warranted. Discarded materials may be sold, donated or recycled as the Library determines.
ACCESS TO COLLECTION MATERIALS:
The Library maintains a large and diverse collection of materials. Access to materials is ensured by the way materials are cataloged, organized, managed, and displayed as well as through staff interaction.
The Library strives to make its collections as accessible as possible, both by selecting materials accessible to patrons with different learning abilities, educational levels, and physical needs, but also by providing assistive technology and other accommodations as needed. Library staff are always happy to help retrieve Library materials.
Children are not limited to materials in the children’s area; these materials are kept together in order to facilitate use. Responsibility for a child’s reading, listening or viewing material rests solely with their parent or guardian. As stated in Free Access to Libraries for Minors: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights, “Parents*-and only parents-have the right and the
responsibility to restrict the access of their children – and only their children – to library resources. Librarians and governing bodies have a public and professional obligation to provide equal access to all library resources for all library users” (*or guardian).
(see Appendix F)
RECONSIDERATION OF LIBRARY MATERIALS:
The Library subscribes to the principles of intellectual freedom, which allow for every individual to both seek and receive information from all points of view without restriction. The Library also subscribes to the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights. Included in this statement is the commitment to honor the rights of an individual to use the Library regardless of age, race, religion, national origin, social, or political views. The Library also selects a wide variety of materials that satisfy the diverse interests of our community. The Library upholds the right of the individual to secure these resources, even though the content may be controversial or unacceptable to some. The Library’s collection is varied, and it is not expected that all of the collection will be of interest to everyone.
East Longmeadow residents with a CW MARS library card in good standing who wish to request the withdrawal or reclassification of materials currently owned by the East Longmeadow Public Library are encouraged to discuss their concerns with a Library supervisor or the Library Director. If the patron is not satisfied with the response to their request, Library Staff will provide the patron with information and a form to request formal reconsideration of the Library resource.
INFORMAL REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION:
The process may begin with Staff discussing the complaint with the patron, which will be directed to the Library Director or their representative. During that interaction, the Director or their representative will discuss the nature of selection and refer to the Collection Development Policy. Library Staff should, as needed, offer to assist the patron in finding alternate materials that would better meet the needs and interests of the patron and their family members. If the patron chooses to go forward with the challenge, the patron should be provided with the Library’s Mission Statement, Collection Development Policy with Appendices, and the Reconsideration of Materials Inquiry Form.
FORMAL REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION:
The following steps will be used when a patron feels that further action is necessary to address concerns about a Library resource. For the duration of this process, the material in question will remain in circulation in the Library collection.
A concerned patron dissatisfied with prior informal discussions will be offered a packet of materials that includes the Library’s Mission Statement, Collection Development Policy with Appendices, and the Reconsideration of Materials Inquiry Form.
Patrons are required to complete and submit a Reconsideration of Materials Inquiry Form to the Library Director. The Director, with appropriate staff, will review the reconsideration form and the material in question to consider whether its selection follows the criteria stated in the Collection Development Policy.
Within 30 days, the Library Director will make a decision and send a letter to the concerned patron who requested the reconsideration, stating the reasons for the decision. If the patron is unsatisfied with the decision, a written appeal may be submitted within ten business days to the East Longmeadow Board of Library Trustees. If the Board plans to address the appeal at their Board meeting, the patron will be notified of when and where the meeting will be held.
The East Longmeadow Board of Library Trustees reserves the right to limit the length of public comments. The decision of the Board of Library Trustees is final.
MATERIALS RECONSIDERATION INQUIRY FORM
All fields must be completed by a resident of East Longmeadow with a CW MARS library card in good standing.
Request initiated by (Name): ______________________________________________________
Library Card Number: ____________________________________________________________
Best Method of Contact: (Phone or email):___________________________________________
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Type of material (book, periodical, music CD, DVD, etc.): _______________________________
Item found in which collection? (Ex: Adult, Young Adult, Children’s): ______________________
What is your objection to this work? Please be specific; cite pages, sections, etc.:
What do you think might be the effect of reading/seeing/listening to this work?
For what age group would you recommend this work?
Do you believe that there is anything worthwhile about this material? If yes, please comment:
Have you read/seen/listened to the entire item?
Have you read professional reviews of the work? If yes, please list the names of the critics and
source of the reviews.
What do you believe are the main ideas of the work?
What would you like the library to do about this work?
Signature: __________________________________________Date: _________________
The Collection Development and Reconsideration of Materials Policy is subject to review and amendment by the East Longmeadow Board of Library Trustees.
Approved by the Board of Library Trustees, June 1992
Amended by the Board of Library Trustees, November 2014
Amended by the Board of Library Trustees, January 2019
Amended by the Board of Library Trustees, March 2023
American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights
American Library Association’s Freedom to Read Statement
American Library Association’s Freedom to View Statement
American Library Association’s The First Amendment and Censorship
Massachusetts General Law Chapter 78, Section 33
East Longmeadow Public Library’s Gift Policy
East Longmeadow Public Library’s Reciprocal Borrowing Privileges Policy
East Longmeadow Public Library’s Library of Things Lending Policy and Informed Consent Waiver
American Library Association’s Free Access to Libraries for Minors: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights